Business community owe Govt. $70 million in outstanding taxes

Taxes owed by the business community to the Government has decreased from $100 million tala to $70 million. 

This was confirmed by the Minister for Revenue, Tialavea Tinisio Hunt, who said his Ministry has been working hard to collect the outstanding amount. 

“Three years ago (2016) the outstanding debts of uncollected taxes amounted $100,000 million plus," he said. "Fast forward to now it has reduced 30 per cent. 

“These are the taxes owed by the business community, and we are doing everything we can to collect it."

For financial years 2017 and 2018, the Customs Division collected $326.4 million while Inland Revenue collected $176.6 million respectively.  

“Included in the collections are some of the unpaid taxes from the previous years. I want to commend our Commissioner of Revenue, Matafeo Avalisa Viali-Fautua'alii and her team for their hard and aggressive work with the collections efforts.

“This is the most hated profession there is in the world, tax collectors but the staff strive to meet the goals of the Ministry."

According to the Minister, the uncollected taxes are reflected as debts to the Government. 

“This is what we are supposed to claim in our collections, hence the Government in their system has it as debts by our office, when it is unpaid taxes,” he said. 

This issue was disclosed by the Ministry of Finance as part of the Government’s response to the Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee’s Report, for the financial years 2015-2016.

As reported last year, the Ministry of Finance disclosed that the Ministry for Revenue’s outstanding debt stood at $87.6 million. 

“We strive to account this outstanding on the Government system (Finance One), in the future Public Accounts Finance One is the Government of Samoa Financial and Payroll and Human Resource Management Information System).

“There is work that needed to be done to refine and confirm the balance of this unrecorded debt before we can include it in the overall government ministries receivables,” stated the Ministry.

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